The Drone News in conjunction with 'IrishTraditionalMusicConnections.com' has compiled a list of the top 10 CD covers of traditional music over the past year. Far be it from us to tell you what's good or not, we had outside help!
People that fancy themselves to be experts on design and the importance of it to Irish music CDs came up with this. Don't blame us! The CD cover design is somewhat an unappreciated art. Here we look at some of the best while also blowing meaningless smoke up the backsides of the artists. Enjoy!
10. 'Abridged' - Abridged
'Abridged' are a hot new trad band on the scene who play hot syncopated tunes against a recording of hot bodhran and hot guitar. They came out of nowhere to storm the hot trad music scene and we predict hot things from them. Their cover is modern and edgy, with a highly original standing and looking serious vibe. They have a sleek looking logo which the designer obviously either pulled out of his arse or drew whilst under the influence of alcohol. Either way, it's a hot cover...Did we mention they were hot?
9. 'Coleman Use Me' - The Trad Tones
This group of fine looking young, err, women (?) have been making a name for themselves on the traditional Irish/country singing/Churchy scene over the last few years but have really come into their own of late. Their most recent cover catches them looking their...best...and the title pays nod to a certain Sligo fiddle player. The girls play fiddle themselves and describe their music as good wholesome, non-sexual fun. Legend has it it took 3 camers to fit in all their hair. We believe it...
8. 'All My Friends Are Box Players' - Tom McBilly-O'Reilly
And we say, why wouldn't they be...when no-one else will play with you! Tom McBilly-O'Reilly is a local crap whistle player who wanders around and sometimes plays a bit in a session. He's been knockin' around for a while so some people thought it was about time he made a CD. They think he's a bit of a character but there's a reason he hadn't made one until now...Anyway, his mate designed the cover and doesn't it show? A lovely kind of sick, baby blue adorns the front with a cut out picture of Tom Kneeling by the grave of his late wife who died of deafness, the only person in history to do so.
7. 'I Play With Myself' - Treasa Ni Fhaighin
Ah yes, the obligatory pretty girl standing in a wooded area playing her instrument. Why is she playing here? Who knows. Maybe she's lost? Maybe no-one else will play with her? Maybe she got a bit drunk and wandered from the Fleadh campsite? There are many connotations with this design but one can't argue with it's simplicity. Dead simplicity. The designer went with two fonts here. Fancy. Treasa herself says the cover of her playing in the forest reflects the music on the album. And we tend to agree judging by the job the sound engineer did.
6. 'Para los jugadores de concertina sexy' - ConcerTino
That's certainly a mouthful, no innuendo intended. But ConcerTino's 3rd album names roughly translates as 'For sexy concertina players'. Thank you Google Translate. This album features flamenco style Irish traditional concertina music. One wonders what Mrs. Crotty would have made of this. We like to think she would have been a fan. This cover features ConcerTino in a seductive pose with his trusty concertina strategically placed...for easy reach of course. Who wouldn't want to see those scarily smooth legs. This man has been taking the Spanish trad scene by storm and is expected to teach at this year's Willie Clancy Summer School.
5. 'The Well of Money Below the Valley' - Plecksty
And now we come to the top 5 traditional music CD covers and our list would not be complete without a Plecksty entry and this year is no exception. Their best of hits album harks back to a time when Book of Kells imitators were all the rage for CD designs. Here we have what looks like a dragon or something, they probably just flicked through their Book of Kells souvenir copy and picked a page at random. Anyway, this group has been making music for years and despite all their arguing and fighting and bickering and saying they're best mates, they still haven't got back together. Here you can listen to the songs you already have on all theor other albums.
4. 'Listen to My Barf' - Thaddeus O'Luanaigh
'Listen to My Barf' is a collection of traditional Irish songs compiled by the 35 year old singer Thaddeus O'Luanaigh and what a collection it is. 103 songs all in the one release with only 5 of them half decent. Thaddeus has been on the scene for a while now and can be seen frequenting 'The Cobblestone' in Smithfield annoying the musicians with his roaring which bares no relation to any form of accepting 'singing'. However he's decided to release an album and the cover shows the traditional Irish pub in all its glory with the man himself in a flattering pose, draped over the bar and dreaming up his next failed chat up line.
3. 'Liebe Fluten' - Fluto
Another foreigner! Cult-Ass must be rubbing their hands together at the sight of it! Fluto is a German, trad music expressionist and has been regaling audiences in Germany for the last few years. A bit of an eccentric, he likes to bath in milk before every performance and sticks a rose in the end of his flute as he plays. Or she. Not sure. But 'it' is sure to make 'its' way to Ireland soon. Here you can see the most recent album cover which features Fluto handing us a bouquet of roses and flutes. Thank you? We not sure. Hats off to the designer for bringing the eyes closer together. That's right...Closer!
2. 'Let Me Touch His Bodhran Stick' - The Ard-Comhairle Quartet
And who said the Ard-Comhairle haven't a musical note in their body? Everyone! But that hasn't stopped them from making an album. Donned in full regulation green Cult-Ass attire, our quartet pose in a very undertaker looking fashion for the camera. We particularly like the look of disdain they appear to have. Well who wouldn't if they worked for that organisation! The CD itself features the quartet lilting a selection of mazurkas, hop jigs, polkas and set-dances against a bodhran backing track. Just what you've always wanted!
1. 'Up She Flew...And the Cock Flattened Her!' - The Twattering
And the number one spot goes to...The Twattering! The Irish traditional stuper group comprised of some of the most over-exposed faces on the Irish music scene. Featuring moody fiddles, moody guitar, even moodier piano and a moody hurdy-gurdy, the group of hipsters have been pulling the wool over peoples eyes for the last couple years. This third album shows them at their original best, standing in front of an old building making them look cultured, and mid good laugh. Great stuff. Nice to see some genuine reactions! Lovely...